Status: Incomplete

Blackjack -2-

S was a man of great stature in the public eye during that
first quarter of the century. He was born in Manitoba of
parents with Icelandic background and was christened William
Stephenson. At 22 he changed hsi name to Vilhjalmur Stefansson
after listening to a lecture at the University of No Dakota in
which a sociology professor extolled non-conformist conduct.
He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1903---later enrolled
as a divinity student at Harvard, but his interests changed to
anthropology. His first trip came about as a member of a Harvard
group who went to Iceland to study sheep husbandry.

According to what Noice told me, Stefansson could at times
be difficult to get along with. He formed the Stefansson Ex-
ploration and Development Company
, which outfit appears to have
run short of money from time to time. (See Noice's letter to
Griffith Brewer of London Envelope A). As I remember it, Stefansson had
left the small group on Wrangel Island to "colonize” it for
England with the expectation of checking in at that remote place
in a year, supplies for the group being only enough for that
period of time. However, he let the matter go due to the
money situation and continuinged with his writing and lecture tours.

Harold Noice, fearing for the safety of the Wrangel Island
party, kept prodding him on the matter, offering to command a
rescue expedition without pay in the interest of saving lives
if necessary. But still Stefansson delayed. Eventually enough
money was forthcoming to fit out an Arctic ship which, commanded
by Noice, left Nome and made its treacherous way through the

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